Arkansas Taxation

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Online Resources[edit | edit source]

DISTRICTS listed below in the State level


Tax money bag.jpg

Why Use Tax Records[edit | edit source]

By studying several consecutive years of tax records you may determine when a young man came of age, when individuals moved in and out of a home, or when they died leaving heirs. Authorities determined wealth (real estate, or income) to be taxed. Taxes can be for polls, real and personal estate, or schools.

Tax record content varies and may include the name and residence of the taxpayer, description of the real estate, name of the original purchaser, description of personal property, number of males over 21, number of school children, slaves, and farm animals. Tax records usually are arranged by date and locality and are not normally indexed. Tax records can be used in place of missing land and census records to locate a person’s residence.

How to Use Tax Records for Arkansas[edit | edit source]

County Level[edit | edit source]

The county clerks have the original records on microfilm.

Microfilm copies of personal and property tax records, between 1860 and 1900, are available in the Family History Catalog section for most counties in Arkansas. However you will have to check under each individual county you are interested in, to do so follow these steps.

1. Go to the FamilySearch Catalog
2. In the Places search box, type United States, Arkansas, followed by the county you wish to search.
3. Scroll down to the catalog entry for "Taxation" and select the gray arrow for a drop-down list of records available. Select the collections you're interested in.
4. Online records will have a camera symbol next to the collection listing. The film symbol is for collections available at the FHL.

State Level[edit | edit source]

State laws are always subject to change through the enactment of newly passed statutes or other means, while tax laws are periodically updated in accordance to the needs of the state. You may want to contact an Arkansas tax law attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

  • 1865-1866 Internal revenue assessment list for Arkansas Internal revenue assessment lists were created into divisions called Districts, each county is put into a district. County names are arranged alphabetically within the division and then within months. The following is a list of counties placed in which district. (knowing the district and county your ancestor lived in will make searching this years taxes list a little faster)
    (once on pagescroll down to district desired and click on camera to open)

U.S. Internal Revenue Assessment Lists. Three types of Reports: A=Annual; M=Monthly; S=Special Years and Reports may be different.

Districts for 1862-1866:
September 1865-Aug 1866
DISTRICT 1: Arkansas, Conway, Craighead, Crittenden, Cross, Fulton, Greene, Independence, Izard, Jackson, Lawrence, Mississippi, Monroe, Phillips, Poinsett, Prairie, Randolph, St. Francis, Searcy, Van Buren, White, Woodruff Counties
September-December 1866
DISTRICT 2: Ashley, Bradley, Calhoun, Chicot, Columbia, Dallas, Sesha, Drew, Hempstead, Hot Spring, Jefferson, Lafayette, Dauchita, Pulaski, Saltine, Union counties
September-December 1866
DISTRICT 3: Benton, Carroll, Clark, Crawford, Franklin, Johnson, Madison, Montgomery, Newton, Perry, Pike, Polk, Pope, Scott, Sebastian, Sevier, Washington, Yell

Tax Laws[edit | edit source]

Since 1861, the tax collector collects taxes. Previously the treasurer and later the sheriff collected taxes. The tax collector collects all county taxes, including "taxes on real and personal property, schools and special districts, and business licenses. "Historically the office of tax collector was combined with the office of county treasurer and sheriff. Today it is usually with the treasurer's office."

Abraham Lincoln instituted the income tax in 1862, and on July 1, 1862, Congress passed the Internal Revenue Act, creating the Bureau of Internal Revenue (later renamed to the Internal Revenue Service). This act was intended to “provide Internal Revenue to support the Government and to pay interest on the Public Debt.” Instituted in the height of the Civil War, the “Public Debt” at the time primarily consisted of war expenses. For the Southern States that were part of the Confederate side of the Civil War, once Union troops took over parts of the Southern States, income tax were instituted on them. [1]

  • To learn more about this Collection click here
  • To learn more about the Civil War taxes click here

For those Confederate States that were taken over by the Union they would then become subject to the Internal Revenue Act imposed by President Lincoln.

What history has shown us is that while property taxes are locally levied, there is significant state involvement with the amount of tax local political subdivisions can levy, how property assessments are conducted, and what services local taxing subdivisions must provide for their residents. This comes at a cost to state taxpayers, because the state has obligations it must fund as well, with a limited amount of state tax dollars.

Nearly all states collect an annual tax on personal income, based on one's salary and other forms of "taxable income." The vast majority of states have what is known as a progressive tax code, which is essentially a sliding scale based on income, which requires those over a certain threshold to pay the highest rate. Some states have a flat tax that applies to all taxpayers regardless of income. Income taxes are used for a number of state goods and services available to residents, such as public education, police protection, and assistance for low-income individuals. Not all states collect income tax.

There are two types of taxes: federal and state. U.S. citizens need to be sure that they comply with both sets of tax laws.[2]

References[edit | edit source]